April 30, 2019

Venezuela’s Maduro Enlists ‘Digital Militia’ in Campaign to Hold Power

By Kharon Staff


Nicolas Maduro has deployed a social media apparatus, coordinated by current and former government officials — including several who are under U.S. sanctions — to preserve his hold on power amid a challenge from Juan Guaido.

The government’s self-described “digital militia” has driven government-sponsored hashtags intended to bolster Maduro and undermine his opponents to the top of Twitter’s “trending topics” for Venezuela. 

The messaging strategy may particularly resonate in Venezuela, where an estimated 44 percent of Venezuelans were active social media users as of January 2018, according to a survey by HootSuite. 

A focal point in Maduro’s social media influence effort is Tuiteros Patriotas, a Twitter account affiliated with Maduro’s ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV). The account was established in November 2015, according to a report by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.

Kharon research

Log in for access to the latest updates and analysis on networks targeted by sanctions and sanctions-related risk. Don’t have an account? Click REQUEST AN ACCOUNT to receive information on how to get signed up.

Request an account or Log in